2020 and all of the drama that went with it divided the world into two camps: those who wound down to a virtual standstill and those who used the time to get shit done. Giacomo Giannotti of Paradiso in Barcelona did the latter.
On the surface it might seem like his bar (coming in at number 19 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list no less) is all playful drinks and witty serves. But as any business owner knows, it takes a great deal of hard work to make things appear effortless. The surprise and delight element of the cocktails on Paradiso’s menu is a huge factor for sure, as is first-class hospitality but equally important for Giacomo and his team is for the bar to be as sustainable as possible.
“Over the years we’ve reduced the use of plastic to almost zero. First by replacing our straws with sustainable alternatives like wheat, pasta and bamboo, then by removing plastic wrapping in our storage and using beeswax paper, a reusable and more sustainable option,” he explains. So when lockdown came round, they used the time that was unexpectedly bestowed on them to perfect a project they’d started a year before. “Most of 2020 was devoted to finding a purpose for the organic waste from the prep of our garnishes,” he continues. “And we’re very proud to say that we have found a fantastic use for it: our new drinks coasters!”
The team worked with Makeat, a Barcelona-based company set up with the sole intention of revolutionising the world of gastronomy through innovation and technology. “We gave them the waste that we’d been collecting and drying out in our lab after each service and they mixed it with pine resin and hot and cold beeswax, then poured everything into a mould. The result is something that’s not only good to look at but is practical and good for the environment as well.”
News on more sustainable initiatives in bars coming soon.